Common Law Marriage Texas
Is Texas A Common Law State
Texas does recognize common law marriage also known as marriage without formalities or informal marriage. That means that two consenting adults in the state can be recognized as married even if they do not obtain a marriage license or have a formal marriage ceremony. Many Texans are choosing this route to marriage.
You can talk to an experienced Austin divorce lawyer if you are not sure whether you are in a common-law marriage or not. They will be able to answer any question you might have and inform you better of the law regarding the common law marriage law in Texas.
How To Know You Are In A Common-Law Marriage
Informal Marriage Texas
People who move in together or choose to cohabit often wonder whether that is all they need to be in a common-law marriage. Chapter 2.401 of the Texas Family Code indicates that a common-law marriage must have the following elements:
- The parties involved must have agreed to get married
- Parties involved in the relationship must live together as husband and wife
- The parties in the relationship introduce themselves to others as husband and wife
- But you must also meet the following requirements:
- The couple must not be related to each other
- The couple must be at least 18 years of age
- Either party in the relationship must not be married to anyone else
What Does “Agree To Get Married” Mean?
What Is Common Law Marriage In TX
Not all couples that agree to move in with each other are doing it to get married. That means that there must be sufficient proof that the couples that moved in together agreed to get married and intended to have a permanent marital relationship. Just agreeing to get married at some point in the future does not cut it.
You don’t necessarily need to have a written document; you and your spouse’s actions can be used to prove that you agreed to get married.
Living Together And Telling Others You Are Married
What Is Considered Common Law Marriage In Texas
Spending time with your relationship partner under one roof can only result in a common law marriage if the two of you are living like a married couple. There is no specification on the number of years you have to live together to prove that you were cohabiting. Even the way you maintain the household like a married couple can be used to prove that you are “living together”.
The requirement that the couple has to “hold themselves out” as a married couple means that they must tell others that they are married for it to be a common-law marriage. You may also just sign a legally binding agreement with your partner and indicate that you are a married couple. The binding agreement could be a personal credit application or a mortgage.
Ending A Common Law Marriage
Does Texas Recognize Common Law Marriage
Since a common law marriage and a formal marriage have the same legal status, you can only end it through a formal divorce process. But you have to prove that you were in a common-law marriage when seeking a formal divorce. Grounds for divorce in a common-law marriage include cruelty, adultery, insupportability, abandonment, confinement in a mental hospital, and others. Talk to an experienced divorce lawyer to help you prove your common law marriage and file for divorce.
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